- Don Ford
Don Reviews "20th Century Women"
Teen dating is always a well of material for stories of all kinds. Whether it is that first puppy love crush, first kiss, first date, or even the first feeling on heartbreak, they are some of the best learning experiences that form the building blocks of a life’s tale. The fact that Mike Mills’ “20th Century Women” takes place in 1979, there is an even deeper layer of memories that hit with a guy like me.
Starring Annette Bening (American Beauty, Mars Attacks!), Elle Fanning (The Neon Demon, Maleficent), Greta Gerwig (Frances Ha, Greenberg), Billy Crudup (Almost Famous, Big Fish), and Lucas Jade Zumann (Sinister 2, Thrill Ride), it is the story of Jamie (Zumann) and his mother Dorothea (Bening), a single mother who shares her house with twenty-something Abbie (Gerwig) and handyman William (Crudup). Jamie has a close friend named Julie (Fanning) who he likes, but she only thinks of him as a friend. Dorothea decides to have both Julie and Abbie help her with navigating Jamie’s teenage years, which brings its own set of interesting situations along with Dorothea’s navigation of her own life and issues.
This film really had the look and feel of being in the late 1970s, fitting the mood well. On the acting, it was fine overall, but there are no award winning performances here outside of Bening, who did well as a usual. I did the like how the 5 main characters did feed off each other and the relationships they showed on the screen.
“20th Century Women” is about 2 hours long, but it really dragged for me to the point that thirty to forty-five minutes could have been cut out to make it better. I got what the main message was, but it had too much “filler” material in between. This film had so much potential but fell was so short. Personally, I will not watch this film ever again, but due to the message it is trying to get across, I might barely recommend this film on cable.